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Pence backs Trump's defense of Putin

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence walk together on their way to greet Harley Davidson executives on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence in an interview that aired Monday defended President Donald Trump’s position on a renewed relationship with Russia.

TheBlaze previously reported that Trump defended Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that aired prior to the Super Bowl on Sunday.

When O’Reilly called Putin “a killer,” Trump replied: “We got a lot of killers. What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

In an interview with Fox News' "Fox and Friends," which was taped Sunday at the Super Bowl, Pence said that "what President Trump is determined to do is reassert American leadership on the world stage and look for renewed relationships with countries around the world, including Russia.”

A controversy erupted over Trump's remarks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN that there is not a moral equivalency between Russia and the United States, and called Putin a "thug."

Pence argued that Trump did not mean to suggest there is a moral equivalency between the two nations.

"The statements that he made were not in any way a moral equivalency between the high ideals and practices of the American people and the people of Russia, but rather what the president is seeking to do is to begin anew our relationship with the people of Russia and with their leadership, to say, ‘Are there ways that we can begin to work together?’” Pence said.

"We have to develop new coalitions and new partnerships to confront radical Islamic terrorism and particularly Russia and the U.S. have a common enemy in ISIS," he added. "The president has made a priority of pulling together the world and the resources of the United States to hunt down and destroy ISIS so it can no longer threaten us or inspire violence here in the homeland."

“It’s those kind of new opportunities President Trump is absolutely committed to pursuing and I fully support him in that,” Pence said.

Pence also defended Trump’s remarks in interviews with CBS and NBC on Sunday. Pence told CBS that Trump is attempting "to deal with the world as it is," and said there "was no moral equivalency" in the president's remark. When pressed by CBS' John Dickerson, Pence affirmed that the U.S. is morally superior to Russia.

Pence told NBC that the president's comments are indicative of his efforts to be "candid with the American people."

(H/T: Washington Examiner)

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